Moisture behind drywall

June 29, 2016
Wall with extruded polystyrene

Water Damage Water Damage-Seeing Behind the WallsNot all water damage is readily visible to the naked eye. Many times water seeps behind walls and other materials and the only way you would know that moisture has intruded are by the effects it has on your home. Hidden water damage can eventually cause degradation to the structure of your home and has the potential to generate the growth of damaging mold that can cause unwanted health effects. When trying to detect water damage behind walls and in hidden areas of your home, using an infrared camera can help water damage professional gage where concealed water or moisture may be.
How does an infrared camera work with water damage restoration in Longmont?
Infrared cameras don’t show an actual image of water damage nor do they detect moisture or measure a level of moisture. These cameras help detect water damage is by producing a thermal image (thermogram) to show colder and warmer zones in different materials. Typically, materials that are showing up in cooler regions on the IR are the result of an evaporative cooling effect that is happening on the surface of that particular material, many times wood beams or drywall. Also, it could be cooler temperatures inside the walls being directed to the surface, or what is known as thermal bridging, which means heat or cold are transferred from one area to another by way of an object or material. Cooler zones could also indicate there is a reflection of heat or cold from another source.
Are infrared cameras a reliable test for moisture?
An IR camera is an excellent tool to do a quick and overall check for moisture in homes or commercial buildings, where there is a concern for hidden water damage or even opportunist mold growth. Detecting cooler temperatures on materials might not necessarily mean it is related to moisture or water evaporation. In certain situations, the difference in temperature the IR camera is picking up could be related to something as simple as cooler air from an air conditioning supply making contact with an object. Technicians may also get cool temperature readings when there is a lack of insulation in the wall where they are testing. Another scenario for detecting cooler temperatures in a particular area could be the result of a cold water line that runs within the wall void, and the IR camera has picked that up.
Technicians from SERVPRO, who are properly trained to use IR cameras for detecting, know that non-porous materials can give misinformation or data because they do not allow for evaporation. Reflective materials can also give off misinterpreted data, so technicians need to take this into account.
What do water damage and mold remediation professionals do if moisture is suspected?
Once a technician has thoroughly tested for moisture problems with the IR camera, and there is enough...

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